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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Safe House' Is An Intense, But All-Too Familiar Thriller That Doesn't Offer Much Of Anything New

    Featuring a conventional, by-the-numbers dynamic and story, but a crackling, intense momentum and execution, the Denzel Washington-led CIA thriller "Safe House" splits the difference between comfortably traditional and genuinely thrilling, leaving for an entertaining, but frequently overly...

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    SBIFF Review: 'Samsara' Tells The Story Of Our World With Stunning Visuals & Spiritual Heft

    Just what is a non-verbal documentary anyway? If you appreciated the silent visual storytelling of "The Artist" or the cinematic majesty of Terrence Malick's nature cinematography in "The Tree of Life," or, if you're a fan of the cult 1992 documentary "Baraka," you'll be a fan of the latest effort f...

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  • Indiewire
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    Oscar-Nominee 'In Darkness' is a Grimy Alternative to 'Schindler's List'

    The Holocaust genre tends to invite reductive terms, so on that basis Polish director Anieszka Holland's survival drama "In Darkness" is a grimier alternative to "Schindler's List." While following the plight of WWII-era Jews hiding out in a sewer system, it takes the foc...

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    Review - "Dreams Of A Life" (A Harrowing Reconstruction Of A Life From Collected Fragments)

    By now I’m sure we’re all familiar with the story, even if it’s just the broad details of it – young woman dies in her apartment and her body isn’t discovered for a good 3 years, as it lay there putrefying – which actually sounds like it could be a pitch for ...

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  • Spout
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    Review and Ranking of the 2012 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

    Curious which Oscar-nominated animated short film will win the Academy Award on February 26? Well, I'm no prognosticator and I honestly don't really care which little-known filmmaker takes home the golden statue. But I am happy the Oscars exist and have the animated short category because it...

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    Review: 'Father's Day' Is An Early Frontrunner For The Year's Most Awesomely Tasteless Movie

    There is bad taste, and somewhere below that, there is Troma. Proudly pushing the boundaries of every taboo in the book, the company has remodeled itself in recent years in an attempt to feature movies with a slightly sharper craft, as the direct-to-DVD boom and the torture porn subgenre had stolen ...

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    Review: 'Return' Starring Linda Cardellini A Modest, Intriguing Portrait Of A Post-War Breakdown

    Homefront drama "Return" deals entirely in a creased and careworn realism, but its premise is reminiscent of the kind of theater experiments that look for a new perspective on a classic production by reversing the races of its characters or shifting the time period or setting. The basic st...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Oscar-Nominated 'Chico & Rita' Is A Fresh Yet Flawed Animated & Musical Tale

    “Chico & Rita,” a now Oscar-nominated animated co-production from Spain and the U.K., is a film for which “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” simply doesn’t suffice. We certainly endorse its nomination in the often drab, studio-laden Best Animated Feature categ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Here's What Cuba's Animated 'Chico & Rita' Has In Common With Fellow Oscar Nominee 'The Artist'

    With its jubilant, colorfully expressionistic style enlivening an old-fashioned love story, the delightful "Chico & Rita" might not look out of place in a retrospective of classic MGM musicals, save for two details: It's neither American nor live action. Sporting a whopping three d...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'The Getaway' and 'Drive' — Heist Films with Arthouse Roots

    To call "The Getaway" (1972) a heist flick is like calling "Jaws" a film about fish: technically speaking you'd be right, but you'd also be missing the point entirely. Sam Peckinpah's Steve McQueen/Ali MacGraw vehicle is a tough, mean, innovative picture in which "getting away" has to do with a lot...

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